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Past News Items - May 2015

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In the News

Precision Nutrition: The Future is Now

The Institute For Functional Medicine Names Robert Rountree, MD, As The 2015 Linus Pauling Award Recipient

Study Provides Hope for Millions of Diabetic Wound Sufferers

New Studies Document Advances in Treating Gastrointestinal Diseases

Anisina Confirmed as Effective Anti-Cancer Agent in Animal Studies

The Metagenics Healthcare Institute for Clinical Nutrition Launches Educational Website

Major Alzheimer's Risk Gene Opens New Pathway to Prevention

Study Shows Pycnogenol Can Help Improve Endothelial Function

New Technology Enables Real-Time Monitoring of Protein Interactions in Live Cells

New Research Shows Positive Impact of Technology on Dementia Patients

Mental Health Month Highlights Need for Holistic Approach to Patient Care

GlassesOff Announces Positive Results From ADHD Study

Released: 05/29/15

Precision Nutrition: The Future is Now

The mapping of the human genome brought tremendous opportunities for optimizing human health, but this flood of information has also led to more questions. Can genetic variations lead to long-term health consequences? How can these be bypassed? And, how can clinicians use genetic information to help people achieve their best health?

Pure Encapsulations, a leading manufacturer of research-based, hypoallergenic nutritional supplements, is ready with answers. No longer will genetic variations script an individual's future health – with the new PureGenomics website application and product platform, healthcare practitioners will be empowered with answers to help patients bypass their genetic destiny through personalized nutrition.

Methylation Made Simple

Methylation is a process that takes place in the body countless times per day. The term methyl refers to one carbon molecule attached to three hydrogen molecules and this powerful group of atoms is essential for many processes, like building and repairing DNA, clearing toxins and helping with nutrient absorption.  

An individual's genetic makeup helps determine how, and if, certain compounds and elements are methylated properly. Small genetic variations, known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (or SNPs) can greatly impact the methylation pathways and potentially contribute to negative long-term health consequences.

The Human Genome and the Promise of Individualized Medicine

Scientific advances have allowed researchers to decipher the human genome and identify genetic variations in a way that is available to virtually anyone who wishes to better understand their genetic makeup and its impact upon their health and wellness. With the introduction of the PureGenomics platform from Pure Encapsulations, health care providers now have the ability to TEST, TRANSLATE and TARGET important SNPs in the methylation pathway and then tailor a supplement regimen for their patients based on those vital insights.

This practice of precision nutrition based on a person's unique genetic makeup has been sought after by scientists and clinicians since the human genome was first analyzed. "Pure Encapsulations is dedicated to changing the face of modern medicine. By integrating the latest science and genetic technologies, we have created a clinically relevant platform that removes the guesswork for both physicians and the patients they serve," said Pure Encapsulations Vice President, Joy Devins.

The PureGenomics Platform
Developed in collaboration with Nathan Morris, MD, and Pure Encapsulations Nutritional Pharmacologist, Kelly Heim, PhD, PureGenomics provides physicians with the knowledge and products needed to understand and support optimal methylation on an individualized basis.

Physicians can now learn which gene variations exist for each patient and make rational, individualized supplement decisions with confidence.

The PureGenomics platform encompasses three steps:

  • TEST for nutritionally relevant SNPs with saliva-based personal genome analysis kits by 23andMe, a personal genomics and biotechnology company. Physicians and their patients simply visit www.23andMe.com, order the kit and follow the step-by-step instructions to obtain full-service DNA sequencing and secure, downloadable results. 
  • TRANSLATE results to nutritional recommendations with www.PureGenomics.com. This innovative website application (1) receives the 23andMe results, (2) identifies eight key methylation SNPs and (3) translates results into specific recommendations.*
  • TARGET with personalized nutritional support. Pure Encapsulations' PureGenomics platform of products support the methylation pathway with targeted ingredients at clinically relevant doses and in clinically relevant forms.

The line of PureGenomics products includes PureGenomics Multivitamin, Folate 1000, B?? Folate, Probiotic-5, plus eight other products specifically designed to address SNP-specific needs.

"Armed with vital genetic insights, a physician can leverage PureGenomics to recommend specialized nutritional support to help patients live their healthiest lives," said Nathan Morris, M.D., co-developer of the PureGenomics Platform. "PureGenomics is designed to support cardiovascular and neurocognitive health, emotional wellness and detoxification — issues that are of universal importance to human health."  

SOURCE Atrium Innovations Inc.


Released: 05/28/15

The Institute For Functional Medicine Names Robert Rountree, MD, As The 2015 Linus Pauling Award Recipient

AUSTIN, Texas, May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Robert Rountree, MD, has been honored by receiving the Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Award at the Institute for Functional Medicine's 2015 Annual International Conference, being held May 28-30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Dr. Rountree receives this award for his pioneering work in the development of Functional Medicine, and for his role as a highly inspirational and informational member of IFM's faculty.

Dr. Rountree has provided his unique combination of traditional family medicine, nutrition, herbology, and mind-body therapy in Boulder, CO, since 1983. He has recently opened Boulder Wellcare, a private practice specializing in individual healthcare consulting.

The Linus Pauling Award has been presented by the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) since 1996 to clinicians and researchers whose work has pioneered important principles in the Functional Medicine model.

IFM President Emeritus David Jones, MD has this to say about Dr. Rountree's selection as the 2015 Linus Pauling Functional Medicine Award recipient: "Dr. Rountree has been an enduring and creative force in the development of the IFM educational programs for both applying and teaching a 21st-century clinical medicine and curriculum. His input, curriculum ideas, and mentoring have significantly impacted IFM's certification program graduates to better serve their patients suffering with chronic, complex medical illnesses as well as advising them in their pursuit of health."

Dr. Rountree's work has furthered the shift in medicine from an organ system paradigm to a systems-medicine approach and has helped to evolve Functional Medicine's clinical and patient-driven approach for prevention and comprehensive treatment of chronic, complex disease.

IFM is excited to announce a free live stream opportunity for Dr. Rountree's lecture, Toxins and Illness: Paranoid Fantasy or Legitimate Threat?, which will take place on Saturday, July 11, 2015, starting at 7:00 pm Central. This lecture takes place prior to the 2015 offering of IFM's Detox Advanced Practice Module (APM). Learn more about how to participate in this free live stream by visiting www.functionalmedicine.org/Rountree.   

For More Information: www.functionalmedicine.org

About The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM): IFM is the global leader in Functional Medicine. The mission of IFM is to serve the highest expression of individual health through the widespread adoption of Functional Medicine as the standard of care. 

Functional Medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease. The primary drivers of the chronic disease epidemic are the daily interactions among an individual's genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. Functional Medicine addresses these underlying causes of disease and equips healthcare practitioners to help their patients manage this complex, interconnected web. For more information about IFM, please visit www.functionalmedicine.org.


CONTACT:  Emily Carlyle, 253.661.3011, emilycarlyle@fxmed.com


Released: 05/22/15

Study Provides Hope for Millions of Diabetic Wound Sufferers

EO2 Concepts, an advanced wound-care technology company, has published interim study results on an innovative new treatment approach that could lead to more effective and less expensive treatment of chronic wounds suffered by millions of diabetics.

The study, a prospective, randomized, multi-center, double-blind clinical trial, suggests encouraging trends for patients receiving Continuous Diffusion of Oxygen (CDO) therapy, both in compatibility or superiority to existing CMS-covered therapies and, in particular, for slower-to-close, larger, chronic wounds. The absolute performance of 53 percent of patients receiving CDO therapy experiencing complete wound closure in 12 weeks compares very favorably to published results from other CMS covered therapies (30 to 52 percent). In a series of exploratory analyses, significant and beneficial effects were found compared with patients who did not receive CDO therapy.

The data, published in Wound Medicine, suggest that the more CDO therapy is needed (larger, more chronic wounds), the better it works.

“CDO is a very promising therapeutic approach that we believe could transform the current standard of care for chronic wounds,” said Mark Niederauer, PhD, chief operating officer at EO2 Concepts. “We are greatly encouraged by the interim results. The therapy was found to have results equivalent or superior to other advanced treatments, yet has the advantages of being easier to apply and less expensive. There is so much potential for this approach to make a real difference to the millions of diabetes victims who struggle with chronic wounds.”

In this ongoing study, EO2 Concepts is using its TransCu O2 tissue oxygenation device to provide oxygen inside moist wound therapy dressings to the wounds of half of the study participants. The other half of the study group also received a TransCu O2 device with moist wound therapy dressings, but no oxygen. Neither the patients nor the treating physicians are aware of whether the patient is receiving oxygen therapy.

The TransCu O2 is a small, simple, easy-to-use oxygen delivery system that is portable and allows for constant treatment without limiting mobility. Its ability to provide a continuous, round-the-clock supply of low-flow pure oxygen can treat a variety of lower limb wound types such as venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers.

While oxygen-based therapies are proven effective in treating chronic wounds, the therapeutic approach to allow for 24-hour delivery of diffused oxygen is relatively new. CDO therapy works by diffusing oxygen directly into a moist wound, providing an optimized environment for the healing process. CDO therapy has been shown to improve healing time and success rates for foot, venous, and pressure ulcers, skin grafts, and burns, while significantly reducing costs compared to other therapies.

“With our TransCu O2 system, we have a simple solution to get CDO to a wound efficiently and effectively,” Niederauer said. “We are currently proceeding with additional studies that we expect to further validate the efficacy of our approach.”

Diabetes sufferers are more likely to acquire sores or ulcers on their feet due to limited feeling in limbs, poor blood circulation, and a weakened immune system. Wounds left untreated for as little as a week can lead to amputation and a severe detraction from quality of life.

Source: EO2 Concepts, eo2.com


Released: 05/19/15

New Studies Document Advances in Treating Gastrointestinal Diseases

The latest research on digestive disorders and treatments has the potential to transform patients' lives. In three studies released at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2015, researchers presented: a new method of colonoscopy preparation; a study documenting delays in diagnosing celiac disease; and data showing a potential danger of menopausal hormone therapy.

Colonoscopy is a potentially life-saving screening procedure, but as many as 25 million people — or roughly 40 percent of those who should be screened — don't undergo the process, many because they can't stand the prep process, which involves fasting, combined with drinking a large volume of viscous liquid. Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center reported that a new method eliminates fasting and allows patients to enjoy a balanced 24-hour diet comprised of foods, such as cereal and pasta salad, with a laxative mixed in. A study enrolling 30 patients found that all patients eating this diet reported they had no problems and would be willing to undergo the procedure again when needed.

Celiac disease, a serious and growing disorder, can worsen if a proper diagnosis is not made. But, a new survey of more than 1,600 patients finds troubling and sometimes inexplicable delays in diagnosis — averaging approximately six years. Part of the delay was caused by patients who experienced symptoms, yet failed to seek treatment, sometimes for years. But, a larger portion of delay was attributable to doctors, particularly for female patients. Females had diagnosis delayed by an average of 76 months, while males by 56 months. Age was also a factor, with older patients taking an average of nearly three times as long to receive proper diagnosis as younger patients.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed the histories of more than 73,000 women and found that current users of menopausal hormone therapy are more than twice as likely than non-users to develop lower gastrointestinal bleeding and ischemic colitis, especially if they use the therapy for longer durations. The findings illustrate the importance for both clinicians and patients to be more cautious in using this therapy, particularly those with a history of intestinal ailments

DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. More information can be found at ddw.org.

SOURCE Digestive Disease Week


Released: 05/15/15

Anisina Confirmed as Effective Anti-Cancer Agent in Animal Studies

US-Australian drug discovery company, Novogen, has announced that it has confirmed that drug candidate, Anisina, is an effective monotherapy against human melanoma in an animal model.

The company announced recently that Anisina was a potent cytotoxic in vitro against human melanoma cells, and in particular that this effect was unaffected by the mutational status of the melanoma cells, particularly the common Braf gene status.

The purpose of the pre-clinical study was to provide evidence that this potent anti-cancer effect could be transferred to the whole animal. Such evidence is required to justify conducting human clinical studies in adults with solid cancers such as melanoma. The company previously has announced the effectiveness of Anisina as a monotherapy in mice bearing human neuroblastoma tumors, thereby justifying taking it into clinical trials in children and juveniles with solid cancers such as neuroblastoma. Taken together, the two results confirm the potential clinical benefit of this drug across both adult and pediatric cancers.

In the current study, highly chemo-resistant human melanoma cells were grown in athymic mice and the animals treated either orally or intravenously with Anisina. Both dosage forms were equally effective.

Novogen anti-tropomyosin program director Justine Stehn, PhD, said, "We are pleasantly surprised by the degree of anti-tumor activity of this drug candidate on its own. We had always seen the anti-tropomyosin technology as being an adjunct therapy for the more commonly used anti-mitotic drugs. The rationale behind its development was to destroy that half of a cancer cell's cytoskeleton that the anti-mitotic drugs didn't target. We reasoned that destabilizing the entire cytoskeleton would achieve a much higher level of anti-cancer effect than that coming from targeting either half alone. And, indeed, that is what we see. Anisina used in combination with anti-mitotic drug, vincristine, increases the anti-cancer potency of vincristine 20-fold."

Stehn added, "Despite all the evidence showing that Anisina has the potential to be just as effective a stand-alone chemotherapy as the anti-mitotic drugs, we still intend to see Anisina as a companion drug for an anti-mitotic drug. The initial patients, however, will need to be treated with Anisina on its own, and this study now gives us the green light to proceed into a Phase 1 study in the first half of 2016."

In preparation for both adult and paediatric clinical studies, the Company is conducting studies in a variety of both adult and paediatric solid and non-solid cancer types in order to determine the optimal drug combination. Data of the effectiveness of Anisina in combination with vincristine in animals bearing human neuroblastoma tumors is being presented to a conference in July 2015.

Graham Kelly, Novogen Group CEO, said, "Each step in the drug development process continues to build our confidence in the potential for this exciting first-in-class drug. The fact that we know its target and how it works; the fact that it is making the most commonly used drugs in chemotherapy work 20 times better, as well as looking like we can extend the effectiveness of the combination into tumor types traditionally unresponsive to anti-mitotic drugs; the fact that, in the case of melanoma anyway, its effectiveness is unaffected by mutational status; and the fact that it can be delivered conveniently by the oral route and in that form was well tolerated by animals with no observed side-effects: All these factors point to a highly versatile and promising new drug candidate with potentially broad application across the cancer spectrum."


Source: Novogen Ltd, novogen.com


Released: 05/14/15

The Metagenics Healthcare Institute for Clinical Nutrition Launches Educational Website

On April 2nd, Metagenics Healthcare Institute for Clinical Nutrition launched an educational resource for all healthcare providers with roots in integrative, traditional and functional medicine. The purely educational and non-promotional website is sponsored by Metagenics, a leader in the field of clinical nutrition and innovation in healthcare. The site was developed to provide the most current, evidence based information, peer reviewed publications, data and tools on clinical nutrition and lifestyle medicine from leading authorities and collaborating research institutions from across the globe.

Complimentary, AMA category 1, continuing education credits in clinical nutrition are also offered to registered users. According to Metagenics Chief Science Officer and President, Metaproteomics Research Division, John Troup, PhD, "Research has shown physicians spend more than 70% of their time using online resources for clinical decision making; this site is intended to support them with credible and relevant information as they improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare utilization."

The website, accessible across various platforms, will feature regular healthcare campaigns to increase awareness about specific health issues and offer guidance for nutrition based solutions. The current campaign, Gut Check! offers registered users an opportunity to explore the importance of a healthy microbiome and precision probiotics via podcasts, downloadable slides and videos from recent symposia presented at Clinical Nutrition Week 15 from the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), as well as the TEDTalk from noted speaker, Rob Knight, PhD on "How Our Microbes Make Us Who We Are."  Other health campaigns being planned for 2015 will focus on women's health, with others scheduled throughout the year that will address Type 2 Diabetes and Inflammation.

You can find the Metagenics Healthcare Institute for Clinical Nutrition at mhicn.com. Register and login to gain full access to various modules, videos and podcasts and to receive regular updates by email.  


SOURCE Metagenics Healthcare Institute for Clinical Nutrition


Released: 05/14/15

Major Alzheimer's Risk Gene Opens New Pathway to Prevention

In a groundbreaking new study, researchers from the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) have discovered that the Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) gene, the major genetic risk factor for the vast majority of late, age-dependent Alzheimer's patients, can reduce the number of mature, functional synapses in the brain by interfering with the DNA responsible for synapse formation and maintenance. Synaptic loss, a key element of Alzheimer's disease, often occurs before the onset of amyloid plaques or tangles in Alzheimer's patients. This new finding could potentially shift current thinking around Alzheimer's disease—from treatment of the disease to prevention.

In the study published May 13 in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists found that the ApoE4 gene increases nuclear translocation and activity of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in human neurons. (HDACs are enzymes that act like on/off buttons for genes.) This activity reduces levels of DNA-programmed brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a critical component in the formation, repair and plasticity of synapses between brain cells. The loss of mature, functional synapses is a key element of early Alzheimer's disease and its associated cognitive deficits.

"We know that people with the complete ApoE4 genes are 10 times more likely to suffer from the most common form of late, age-dependent Alzheimer's disease. We also know from previous autopsy studies that Alzheimer's patients have deficits of BDNF, Protein Kinase C (PKC) epsilon and synapses," said Dr. Daniel Alkon, Scientific Director of BRNI. "Now, in the present study, the brains of Alzheimer's patients were found to have increased levels of HDACs. These findings, taken together, suggest that substituting the abnormal ApoE4 gene for the ApoE3 gene is one of the earliest causes of synaptic loss in Alzheimer's disease."

A Shift in Thinking around Alzheimer's

To date, every single late-phase clinical trial for Alzheimer's drugs—even those that held promise in preclinical studies—has failed. The majority of these studies has focused on the pathologic hallmarks of brains of Alzheimer's sufferers, particularly on sticky extracellular clumps of proteins and cellular debris known as "amyloid plaques," and twisted intracellular tau fibers, often referred to as "tangles."

"Our study provides evidence for a major shift in current thinking around Alzheimer's disease and research," said Dr. Alkon. "Synaptic loss often occurs before the onset of amyloid plaques or tangles in Alzheimer's patients, so our latest findings suggest that many of today's trials that only focus on plaques and tangles aren't targeting a critical pathway responsible for early synaptic loss and, therefore, Alzheimer's disease." 

A Pathway to Prevention

But there may be hope for prevention. BRNI has shown in pre-clinical studies that activating PKC with potent activators such as Bryostatin can prevent ApoE4 from inhibiting BDNF production. Bryostatin, by increasing PKC epsilon, has also been shown in previous pre-clinical studies to lower soluble A Beta oligomers that lead to plaque formation. Since A Beta oligomers also function like ApoE4 to interfere with DNA-controlled BDNF production through HDACs, Bryostatin could potentially block this A Beta oligomer effect as well. This would offer further Alzheimer's disease prevention potential. Elevated HDACs, lower PKC epsilon, reduced BDNF and increased A Beta oligomers, working together, compromise synaptic function, growth and maintenance in the absence of amyloid plaques and tangles.

Discoveries from the present study suggest that these same PKC activators in trials to treat Alzheimer's disease patients could potentially be given to healthy individuals who have the ApoE4 genes – even before Alzheimer's disease begins – thereby preventing the onset of debilitating dementia and brain degeneration.

"We are excited and encouraged by these results," said Alkon. "In essence, our findings suggest that Bryostatin could be used in some patients to prevent Alzheimer's disease before it ever begins."

To read BRNI's full study, visit jneurosci.org/content/35/19/7538.abstract


Released: 05/07/15

Study Shows Pycnogenol Can Help Improve Endothelial Function

New research reports further natural solutions for those at heightened risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the No. 1 killer in America. A study published in the Journal of International Angiology found that daily supplementation of Pycnogenol (pic-NOJ-en-all), a standardized natural plant extract from French maritime pine tree bark, may help improve endothelial function for those with borderline hypertension, hyperglycemia, or hyperlipidemia. The study showed Pycnogenol to be effective in helping to normalize blood pressure, manage LDL cholesterol, and reduce oxidative stress levels.

Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from hypertension, which can be stimulated by endothelial dysfunction—a condition in which the inner lining of blood vessels does not function normally. Endothelial dysfunction can result from and contribute to several cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and septic shock.

"Approximately 85 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Endothelial cells play a crucial role in defending against CAD and ensuring proper blood flow through our blood vessels. This study finds Pycnogenol may be a useful addition for patients with endothelial dysfunction who have borderline hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia," said Dr. Steven Lamm, a physician and nutritional medicine expert. "For those with increased CAD risk, this kind of alternative can be an important step in avoiding development of serious heart conditions."

The peer-reviewed study conducted at Chieti-Pescara University in Italy included 92 participants with borderline hyperlipidemia, hypertension, or hyperglycemia between ages 40 and 60, all of whom were generally fit and followed a healthy lifestyle.

In the study, 49 participants supplemented Pycnogenol 50mg/three times daily in combination with a controlled health plan; 43 participants in the control group followed the controlled health plan alone. The health plan involved a reduction of carbohydrates and caffeinated drinks and daily exercise. While there is no defined treatment for endothelial dysfunction, lifestyle patterns and daily exercise routines have shown to lower cholesterol levels.

Subjects were evaluated at 8 and 12 weeks. Daily supplementation with Pycnogenol was shown to:

>>Significantly improve endothelial function (55 percent after 8 weeks of supplementation; 66 percent after 12 weeks of supplementation)

>>Significantly reduce oxidative stress by 20 percent

>>Normalize blood pressure in subjects with borderline hypertension

>>Reduce cholesterol levels in participants with borderline hyperlipidemia

>>Improve fasting glucose levels  in the group with borderline high glucose levels

"This study builds on previous research showing that Pycnogenol can play a role in helping to reduce platelet aggregation, blood pressure, and oxidative stress. There have been a number of studies proving Pycnogenol's effectiveness in helping to lower LDL cholesterol levels, normalize capillary blood vessels morphology and function, and overall, improve blood circulation. A study from 2012 at the University Hospital Zurich has already established the improvement of endothelial function in people with coronary artery disease. These new findings show and confirm that Pycnogenol can help improve overall endothelial function—an important area of research for millions of patients and an essential step in the progression of pre-clinical atherosclerosis—especially those with borderline hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia or borderline hypertension," said Dr. Gianni Belcaro, lead researcher of the study.  

Endothelial function was measured using a flow-mediated-dilation (FMD) and laser Doppler for the assessment of the distal finger flux. In addition plasma free radicals (PFR) metabolic parameters and blood pressure were evaluated. When Pycnogenol was added to a controlled health plan, endothelial function improved by 66 percent over a 12-week period.

Pycnogenol improvement of endothelial function can be explained by its ability to activate the enzyme endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), present in endothelial cells, to more efficiently generate nitric oxide (NO) from the precursor amino acid L-arginine.

This study further strengthens Pycnogenol's robust portfolio of heart health benefits and provides additional support that the antioxidant is a safe, natural option for those dealing with cardiovascular problems. Past clinical trials have shown beneficial effects of Pycnogenol on chronic inflammation as well as cardiovascular risk factors including endothelial function, hypertension, cholesterol, and platelet function.


Source: Horphag Research Ltd., pycnogenol.com 


Released: 05/06/15

New Technology Enables Real-Time Monitoring of Protein Interactions in Live Cells

Promega Corporation has announced the launch of NanoBRET Protein Interaction Assays, which use a new Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) technology that enables scientists to quantitatively measure protein-to-protein interactions in live cells.

Traditional methods for studying interactions between proteins are commonly performed in vitro using only protein fragments and do not provide data in the context of the cellular environment. With NanoBRET Protein Interaction Assays, researchers can study both induction and inhibition of protein interactions in real time using full-length proteins expressed at physiologically relevant levels.

Conventional BRET measures the interaction of proteins using a bioluminescent donor fused to a protein of interest and a fluorescent acceptor fused to its binding partner; the donor does not excite the fluorophore using light, but transfers resonance energy through dipole-dipole coupling. The optimized NanoBRET Protein Interaction Assays use NanoLuc Luciferase as the energy donor and HaloTag protein as the energy acceptor. NanoBRET Technology has improved spectral overlap, increased signal, and lower background, providing researchers with a reproducible method for monitoring and screening protein interactions. In addition, the brighter light output from NanoLuc enables use of NanoBRET even at low expression levels, while still providing efficient energy transfer.

To learn more about NanoBRET Protein Interaction Assays visit: promega.com/NanoBRET-PPItechnology

Source: Promega


Released: 05/06/15

New Research Shows Positive Impact of Technology on Dementia Patients

Individuals living with dementia can benefit from technology, especially when aided by family members, according to a University of Washington case study published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing in April.


The case study, titled "Involving Family Members in the Implementation and Evaluation of Technologies for Dementia," followed the progress of an 80-year-old dementia patient at a memory care unit as she used recreational technology from It's Never 2 Late (iN2L) with assistance from her 56-year-old daughter. The iN2L technology used included a touch screen computer, numerous applications to facilitate physical activity and cognitive memory, and additional components such as a joystick, camera, and hand bike.


The study reported a number of key observations:

>>The daughter's close involvement and input was effective in designing and deploying technology tailored to her mother's personal interests.

>>The mother experienced particular satisfaction using technology with a family member.

>>Using technology together may be a way to foster more interaction between relatives and dementia patients.

Most notably, the mother's score on the Mini-Mental State Examination increased from 16 (indicating moderate dementia) to 21, a distinct improvement.

"Empirical research continues to demonstrate what we've recognized for years and is the singular purpose driving iN2L—technology that is thoughtfully designed to the needs of people living with dementia considerably improves their quality of life," said Juliet Kerlin, research director of iN2L. "In fact, it provides caregivers with opportunities to support and maximize the residents' unique strengths. As we can see from this study, such technology also revives engagement and strengthens connections with family members."


The study’s findings come closely on the heels of a research study released by the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST), "Reducing the Use of Psychotropic Drugs and Improving Quality of Life Through Entertaining Technology-Driven Activities," which concluded that personalized technology effectively lowers prescription drug use for older adults living with dementia.


"It's rewarding to have objective research back up what we have seen for 16 years, that person-centered technology can positively impact the lives of people dealing with dementia," commented Jack York, CEO of iN2L. "Having a positive impact on families is a huge part of our success. Everyone, including family members, tend to make assumptions regarding the limitations of someone with the disease. These assumptions are shattered when user-friendly technology intersects with individualized content."


Several research studies are planned or underway at the University of Maryland (Baltimore County), University of Indiana, and Xavier University to quantify the benefits of the iN2L system when used for structured recreational and leisure activities in nursing home settings, as well as to reduce the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in memory care settings.


Source: iN2L, iN2L.com


Released: 05/05/15

Mental Health Month Highlights Need for Holistic Approach to Patient Care

DaVita Kidney Care, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. and a leading provider of kidney care services, recognizes the month of May as Mental Health Month. It brings light to the struggles of people living with invisible illnesses like depression and the difficulties in overcoming those adversities.

"People with kidney disease and their caregivers may find themselves facing depression as they adjust to life on dialysis," said Duane Dunn, director of social work services at DaVita Kidney Care. "In the words of one of our patients, 'dialysis isn't an easy thing to go through, but end-stage renal disease isn't end stage—it's just another stage in your life.'"

Discovering a sense of purpose can be fundamental to a high quality of life on dialysis, especially as people first adjust to life on dialysis and re-enter their communities with new challenges. Whether that purpose derives from working, volunteering, parenting, attending school, or other hobbies and interests, the important part is to find the motivation to thrive on dialysis.

For both patients and their caregivers, resource access is a critical component in managing mental health. Here are some tips for thriving while on dialysis:

>>Openly discuss – Talk with your nephrologist and social worker because they understand where patients struggle most in adjusting and coping to life on dialysis.

>>Seek counseling – Outpatient services are available in a variety of different agencies and can be accessed by the local Department of Human Services.

>>Find a support group – Look for support groups that can understand and empathize with what's happening. There are local in-person support groups as well as online options that can help provide guidance.

>>Seek kidney disease education – Attending a kidney disease education class allows attendees to ask questions about kidney disease and get an understanding of life on dialysis.

>>Continue to work – Dialysis patients who continue to work are 21 percent less likely to experience symptoms of depression, according to a study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Working may provide a sense of purpose and a positive distraction from dialysis, all of which help contribute to a better quality of life.

DaVita Kidney Care recently launched its Empowering Patients Program, which is designed to enhance social workers' skill sets to further help improve patients' quality of life through behavioral activation, mindfulness, and coping skills. A poster on this program was presented during the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting in April 2015 and was recognized as a "Healthcare Professional Top Poster." The poster highlighted symptom-targeted interventions (STI) by social workers to help decrease patients' missed dialysis treatments. Aspects of the program included deep breathing, coping thoughts, and behavior activation. Results suggest that a social-worker-based STI program improved quality of life for patients involved.

DaVita Kidney Care has shown itself to be a leader in putting quality at the forefront of the conversation. This has been recognized by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with the Five-Star Rating System and CMS' Quality Incentive Program (QIP). DaVita Kidney Care was recognized with 50 percent of its centers receiving a four- or five-star rating. With QIP, 98.5 percent of DaVita Kidney Care's centers rated among the top clinical performance tiers in the country.


Source: DaVita Kidney Care, davita.com


Released: 05/05/15

GlassesOff Announces Positive Results From ADHD Study

GlassesOff Inc. has announced the results from a study in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), demonstrating non-invasive, game-like technology that can provide an early indication of whether a child has ADHD and to what degree. In addition, once a child has been prescribed an ADHD medication, the GlassesOff tool may be able to be utilized as a monitor to provide insight as to whether the medication and/or its dosing are effective, or should be modified. GlassesOff intends to develop a dedicated ADHD commercial application following results of the study.

The findings from a new study from GlassesOff show significant differences in the visual performance of children and adults with ADHD, compared with children and adults who do not have ADHD, with respect to specific visual tasks. A new GlassesOff application may be able to quantitatively measure these differences as a quantitative way to screen for the disorder.

The study included 45 adults, 28 of them previously diagnosed with ADHD, and 64 children, 21 of them previously diagnosed with ADHD, all of whom had no history of neurological conditions and normal or corrected-to-normal vision in both eyes. Measurements were made on smartphones, using a prototype dynamic digital assessment tool developed by GlassesOff, and results were compared between participants with and without ADHD. The results of this research showed a significant distinction in the visual performance of participants diagnosed with ADHD, despite having normal 20/20 or better visual acuity on the clinical optometric chart, compared with participants who did not have ADHD.

Nimrod Madar, CEO of GlassesOff, said, "We believe that our scientific team is at the forefront of understanding the correlation between visual functions and the diagnosis of various neurobehavioral conditions. This pioneering technology could become the base for the first self-administered objective screening tool for ADHD."

Mr. Madar went on to say, "We trust that this technology can become a simple tool for any parent to know if a child needs to seek medical help to professionally diagnose ADHD; and this technology may additionally provide invaluable information to parents and physicians regarding the efficacy of the medication post initiation of ADHD drug therapy."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders, impairing the quality of life for millions of children and adults. In spite of this, there is no simple way to diagnose the disorder. Currently, diagnosis requires specialized clinicians engaging in a long, several-step process using qualitative tools. For children in particular, the diagnosis can be significantly misguided by subjective input from parents. 

GlassesOff presented the findings from the study yesterday at the international annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Denver, Colorado. The presentation can be viewed at glassesoff.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/GlassesOff-ADHD-Study-Results.pdf.


Source: GlassesOff Inc., glassesoff.com


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